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Elder Ephraim of St. Anthony's Monastery's concerns regarding sex and marriage.


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#1 Anthony T.

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Posted 06 February 2015 - 09:53 PM

Recently, after observing the moral decay in society (i.e., gender roles, sexual immorality) I could not help but notice a peculiar trend. Testosterone levels among men have dropped a statistically significant degree each decade following the 1950's.  A commensurate change in estrogen changes has also been observed among females since the same decade.  

 

In short, men are losing their masculinity and becoming more effeminate whereas women are becoming more masculine.  I asked Elder Ephraim of St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona about this during a recent conversation I had with him.  He mentioned that this trend -- men becoming more like women and women becoming more like men -- is indeed real.  For this reason, he is often misunderstood and cast as out of touch with respect to any advice he gives concerning marital relations.  He is known to have said that men should not engage in oral sex with their wives.  Moreover, he has said that some men and women should even live as brother and sister within the marital context.  

 

These indications are not intended to destroy the ability of a man to enjoy his wife as God originally intended -- that is to say that a man cannot enjoy sexual relations with his wife but for procreation.  Rather, Elder Ephraim wants to help us, God's children, understand that God is trying to protect men from further emasculation because of the current ethos which allows for men to explore their "femininity" and women to explore "more masculine roles."  Elder Ephraim's suggestions, if not followed by many of those who come to him for help, would redound in a further decay of the gender identity of both the man and the woman and further collapse the strength of the marriage.  

 

Elder Ephraim, is, in effect, trying to stem the gender role reversals perpetuated by the devil in today's society.  God loves us, His children.  We should aim to do that which we can so that Christ can restore us men to the image he intended for men and women to the image he intended for women -- free of the ugly demonic imprint of the past 60 years.

 

In Christ,

 

Anthony T.


Edited by Anthony T., 06 February 2015 - 10:04 PM.


#2 Kosta

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 02:19 AM

I did not about the testosterone thing. There was an ancient tradition in the Church that the second coming is near when women become like men and men like women.

Edited by Kosta, 07 February 2015 - 02:19 AM.


#3 Seraphim of the Midwest

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Posted 07 February 2015 - 02:57 AM

Elder Ephraim sounds like he is pointing out the feminization of society.  A similar thing happened other times in history, including the fall of the Western Roman empire.

 

FYI, the topic of gender roles and sexuality within marriage is not very welcome on this forum.



#4 Angie

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 03:36 AM

What a blessed man Elder Ephraim is.  I have read his homilies and have learnt so much from them.

 

Would someone know if we wanted to talk to him, how to go about it? 

 

Has anyone sent him a letter and would he respond?



#5 Kosta

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 03:46 AM

Usually if you email the monastery, one of the brothers will respond. Nothing to indepth in their answers, they may ask you to seek out a monastery nearby you to go and speak to a monk in person. This was my experience a few times I emailed them. If you write it out in greek perhaps you will get lucky and Elder Ephraim will respond personally.

#6 Angie

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Posted 08 February 2015 - 11:45 AM

Great, thankyou.



#7 Kusanagi

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 01:26 PM

I am interested to know from the Father if this is because of the pill being introduced. I read in an article once that women are seeing men in the media as more feminine compared to their earlier counterparts and this was due to the pill and men are more feminine portrayed compared to before.



#8 Seraphim of the Midwest

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 02:41 PM

Is the suggestion in post #7 that introduction of Estrogen pills in women have 1) caused men to be feminine or 2) caused men to be perceived to be feminine?

 

Use of the pill causes women to desire feminized men more than they do naturally.  So do many other factors.



#9 Father David Moser

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Posted 09 February 2015 - 03:54 PM

This thread began with the comments of Fr Ephraim of St Anthony's monastery in Arizona on his observations as a spiritual father concerning the blending of gender identity and roles in our society. Now while Fr Ephraim is not himself a "patristic" source, he is a spiritual authority for many people. However, the following conversation after the first post seems to have drifted away from spiritual concerns into social and even biological concerns. Lets keep the discussion focused on the spiritual concerns. Only reply number 2 (referring to the prophecies of the end times) has that quality - the others seem to be either off topic or more appropriate to personal correspondence.

Fr David Moser

#10 Kosta

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 07:10 AM

I've never heard of this, with these pills. Although it doesnt really surprise me. Are these simply evolutionary changes or something more sinister?

We see how people now take hormone therapy and get sex change surgery and christian society promotes it. We know women are attracted to that "metrosexual" look. Guys like women that look attractive, which isnt new. But now men like those same women to have masculine characteristics. Men looking for "strong independant" women who are "career oriented" and are "equal partners".

Is this demonic delusions or what our society tells us is progress or evolution or natural speciation?

#11 Kusanagi

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 03:05 PM

To clear up, I was meant to say over the decades what women look for in men as portrayed in the media anyway has changed from the chiselled looks like a Clint Eastwood to what is popular now like David Beckham. The writer of the article then goes on to say this change in outlook on what they look for in a man from masculinity to a more feminine look.

 

something like this article: http://www.livescien...culine-men.html



#12 Father David Moser

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Posted 10 February 2015 - 03:11 PM

Patristic, monastic and liturgical folks - not social commentary or pseudoscience.

(That's two)

Fr David

#13 Anthony T.

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 05:38 AM

Hello, I am the author of this thread.  
 
Can you please delete this post as I did not have Geronda Ephraim's blessing to post it.  
 
As you might imagine I am terribly embarrassed and ashamed that I proceeded to post the thread without receiving a blessing.  I didn't think twice about it. It was my fault.  Forgive me. Please delete the thread, nonetheless.
 
I apologize if my actions have caused any one of you, my brothers and/or sisters to be upset.  Again, forgive me.  I made a mistake.
 
In Christ,
 
Poster Name: Anthony T.

Edited by Anthony T., 11 February 2015 - 05:39 AM.


#14 Kosta

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 09:00 AM

Maybe we can start a new thread apart from the elder's words. I want to get to the bottom of what has emerged in the past few decades. I think men have rejected their role as the head of their wives and feminists have seized upon it. What we are seeing is the natural outcome.

#15 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 11:12 AM

To an extent, men have not so much rejected their traditional role as have had it diluted by changes in society. The patristic, monastic and liturgical deposit on this might be thin.



#16 Michał

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 01:07 PM

Hello, I am the author of this thread.  
 
Can you please delete this post as I did not have Geronda Ephraim's blessing to post it.  
 
As you might imagine I am terribly embarrassed and ashamed that I proceeded to post the thread without receiving a blessing.  I didn't think twice about it. It was my fault.  Forgive me. Please delete the thread, nonetheless.
 
I apologize if my actions have caused any one of you, my brothers and/or sisters to be upset.  Again, forgive me.  I made a mistake.
 
In Christ,
 
Poster Name: Anthony T.

 

Why would you need a blessing?



#17 Seraphim of the Midwest

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 01:54 PM

To an extent, men have not so much rejected their traditional role as have had it diluted by changes in society. The patristic, monastic and liturgical deposit on this might be thin.

 

A red letter day on my calendar when we agree.

 

The comment about the end times coming when roles are blurred was on target.  Note that no post attempted to ascertain the reason why.  I think that society becoming very sick is the dominant factor.

 

John Chrysostom says of Sirach 25 "For there is no relationship between a man and a man so close as that between a man and wife, if they be joined together as they should be... nothing whatsoever is more precious than to be... loved by a wife and love her"

 

Sirach spends a lot of time informing the reader contrasting what a good wife is like and what an evil wife is like.  When a man has a good wife, his life is greatly enriched and so is hers.  Our modern society promotes evil in women.  It was Eve who acted first, and Adam followed.

 

The Orthodox Church is the only entity able to address the evil in women.    When it comes to the evil in men, I hear it all the time, all places, every conversation.  Yet what does one hear with respect to women except silence and placation, or to hear a candy-coated words followed immediately by a harsher criticism of men?  The double-standard is nauseating.



#18 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 03:17 PM

There is not necessarily linkage between changing roles of men and women in society and a blurring of gender identity, but there probably is linkage with some forms of antisocial behaviour by some young men, with the increase in cohabitation, and with the divorce rate. I won't play amateur sociologist but I think it can be safely stated that changes in society have been scientifically noted since the 1950s, and research in England led to the concept of what was dubbed 'suburban neurosis' in women who felt 'useless'. As opportunities for women arose, and as equality gained ground, the balance shifted until some men, especially young men, began to feel unsure of their role. In the current context, certain teachings of the Orthodox Church appear distinctively out of tune with the times. But we should not think that Orthodoxy reinforces role stereotypes such as one saw in television advertisements in the late 1950s which make anyone cringe. If we look carefully at what St Paul , St John Chrysostom and other Holy Fathers say about marriage, we see a model for marriage which is based upon mutual love and care and not the domination of one by the other.  Colossians 3:18-21 is too often quoted without reference to Ephesians 5:21-32 (and we may add the whole of chapter 5). Male headship must be seen as like the headship of Christ over the Church, a headship based on love, service, and sacrifice. God created man and woman in His image and likeness - both are therefore equal in dignity.


Edited by Reader Andreas, 11 February 2015 - 03:18 PM.


#19 Seraphim of the Midwest

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 03:42 PM

In the current context, certain teachings of the Orthodox Church appear distinctively out of tune with the times... Male headship must be seen as like the headship of Christ over the Church, a headship based on love, service, and sacrifice. God created man and woman in His image and likeness - both are therefore equal in dignity.

 

A wife should never nag her husband: "You lazy coward, you have no ambition! Look at our relatives and neighbors; they have plenty of money. Their wives have far more than I do." Let no wife say any such thing; she is her husband's body, and it is not for her to dictate to her head, but to submit and obey. "But why should she endure poverty?" some will ask. If she is poor, let her console herself by thinking of those who are much poorer still. If she really loved her husband, she would never speak to him like that, but would value having him close to her more than all the gold in the world....Furnish your house neatly and soberly. If the bridegroom shows his wife that he takes no pleasure in worldly excess, and will not stand for it, their marriage will remain free from the evil influences that are so popular these days. Let them shun the immodest music and dancing that are currently so fashionable.

 

--St. John Chrysostom, On Marriage and Family Life

 
If a female doesn't think her husband makes enough money, she just divorces him.  Or, if she isn't so brazen, then no sex.  The fact  that this kind of behavior is tolerated within the Orthodox Faith flies directly in the face of the Fathers.
 

There is not necessarily linkage between changing roles of men and women in society and a blurring of gender identity

 
I have watched many marriages disintegrate as a direct result of the behavior of the wives.  On the level of society as a whole, women sought dominance under the guise of "equality".  And now that they have "equality" our modern societies are disintegrating before our very eyes in a very short timeframe.  
 
The phrase "blurring of gender identity" is just another way to say confusing/blurring the roles of men and women.  Why in the world would men not desire to become women, as an alternative to "antisocial behaviour by some young men".  It has everything to do with "blurring of gender identity".  Or more precisely, the blurring of the sexes.  Note the definition of the word sex:

 

Sex: The distinction between male and female, esp. in humans; this distinction as a social or cultural phenomenon, and its manifestations or consequences; (in later use esp.) relations and interactions between the sexes; sexual motives, instincts, desires, etc.
 
-- Oxford English Dictionary

 

"Gender equality" as sought in modern societies is not Patristic.  It is Satanic.



#20 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 11 February 2015 - 05:25 PM

Would you say, then, that a female dentist working alongside a male colleague with the same qualifications and experience ought to be paid less and that that is Patristic, whilst if paid the same, that is Satanic?






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